Things you need to know about Insomnia


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Life in this day and age is nothing less than hectic. We are so consumed by our daily activities that we often find ourselves at a state of constant tiredness and lethargy. More often than not we tend to overlook the importance of one of the most basic human essentials. Yes, fellow readers, I’m talking about sleep. More specifically, the lack of it which is a sleep disorder known as INSOMNIA!

While some are lucky enough to be able to sleep with minimal distractions, many on the other hand are not so lucky. Not only do some people face the problem of not getting enough sleep on a regular basis, there are those whom suffer from cases such as insomnia. According to WebMD, “insomnia is a sleep disorder that is characterized by difficulty falling and/or staying asleep. “



This is hardly surprising as many of the people that we meet on a regular basis face difficulty sleeping. As a matter of fact, 1 in three people suffer from some form of sleep disorder during their lifetime. This means that 30% of the general population suffers from insomnia! In Malaysia alone, about 2,767,350 people are reported to have difficulties falling asleep.

The symptoms include:



  • Difficulty falling asleep

  • Waking up often during the night and having trouble going back to sleep

  • Waking up too early in the morning

  • Feeling tired upon waking


 

There are two types of insomnia, namely primary insomnia and secondary insomnia.

  • Primary insomnia is classified by the inability of an individual to sleep without having any adverse health complications.

  • Secondary insomnia is the effect of having problems sleeping because of other health related problems such as asthma, cancer, pain or a substance they are using like alcohols for instance.


Another way by which it is classified is through how long it lasts and its consistency in occurrence. If it occurs in the short-term, it is known as acute insomnia. If it occurs over the long-term, it is classified as chronic insomnia. Acute insomnia can last from one night to a few weeks. Chronic insomnia happens when a person has sleeping difficulties at least three nights a week for a month or longer.

Causes of Insomnia


Acute

  • Emotional and psychological discomfort

  • Certain forms of medication

  • Significant life stress

  • Interference in normal sleep patterns/schedules

  • Environmental factors (noise, light and temperature)


Chronic

  • Depression/Anxiety

  • Chronic stress

  • Pain or discomfort at night


So, how do you know if you have insomnia or you are at risk of it?


There are generally a few signs that you could look out for in the event that that you could have insomnia. These signs include sleepiness and tiredness during the day, general tiredness and lethargy, easy irritability and issues with concentration and memory.

How to cure Insomnia

If you feel that you might be a victim of this disorder, simply try to adjust your life style so that you ensure that you get a good night’s sleep. Here are some tips and that might just do the trick!

  • Keep a regular sleep/wake schedule

  • Don’t drink or eat caffeine four to six hours before bed and minimize daytime use

  • Don’t smoke, especially near bedtime or if you awake in the night

  • Avoid alcohol and heavy meals before sleep

  • Get regular exercise

  • Minimize noise, light and excessive hot and cold temperatures where you sleep

  • Develop a regular bed time and go to bed at the same time each night

  • Try and wake up without an alarm clock

  • Attempt to go to bed earlier every night for certain period; this will ensure that you’re getting enough sleep


However, these tips are catered towards the case of acute insomnia. If you believe that you are having chronic insomnia, you might want to talk to your health care provider. Your care provider would then carry out an evaluation which may include a physical exam, a medical history and a sleep history . You may be asked to keep a sleep diary for a week or two, keeping track of your sleep patterns and how you feel during the day.

Not being able to get a good night’s rest is definitely a serious problem as you won’t be able to perform to the best of your abilities. Have any one of you guys ever experienced/experiencing Insomnia? Please let us know in the discussion here and include pointers on what can be done to battle it.


by Kevin

An average 22 year old with an unquenchable thirst for adventure and new experiences. Living life as it comes :) View all articles by Kevin.




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